Bret Bielema confirmed one piece will be missing from the secondary down the stretch. On Monday, Bielema announced Illinois starting cornerback Taz Nicholson will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated wrist, 247Sports’ Jeremy Werner reports.

Nicholson left in the first half of the Illini’s loss to Purdue and had surgery while the game was still going on. Nicholson has recorded 19 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception and 1 tackle for a loss during his redshirt-sophomore season.

Injuries continue to plague the Illinois secondary. Terrell Jennings was unavailable on Saturday and Nicholson’s replacement, Tyler Strain, had an interception before leaving the game due to concussion protocols. Now, inexperienced players are having to take on big roles in crunch time as the season nears a close.

Illinois has lost two straight games and the grip on the B1G West has faded as the Illini are now a part of a 4-team logjam at the top of the division. Things won’t get any easier for the Illini as they are set to face No. 3 Michigan on Saturday, possibly without Chase Brown.